Monday, January 31, 2011

Yellow or red coffee beans: Which one should I pick?

We arrived at CADECH – Cooperativa Adelante Chanmagua - offices in Chanmagua town, some kms away from Esquipulas (southeast of Guatemala) and close to El Salvador and Honduras borders. After a delicious lunch – I like Guatemalan food – CADECH reps gave us a presentation on the coop operations and challenges. CADECH members combine coffee growing with reforestation efforts. Then it was time for field visits.

It was busy in Freddy’s 1.75 ha coffee plantation. It is harvest period and there are about 10 seasonal workers. I wanted to try picking coffee. But there are green, red, and yellow coffee beans... and now?

Freddy, his sons, workers and CADECH reps in the coffee plantation

Today I learned Freddy and coffee farmers mixed both sorts of coffee in one plantation. Colour does not affect either the quality or flavour. Every sort has its strengths and weaknesses just as it happens with many things in life: it is not only the outside, but the inside what counts.

In another coffee plantation I was welcomed by a nice perfume coming from white flowers of orange trees that are planted to give shadow to the coffee plants. Some meters further there were pines planted also for shadow and reforestation purposes. This is quite of unique in the Central American region.

Oranges tasted good.

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